Anoka-Ramsey Community College counters food insecurity with Campus Cupboard

Anoka-Ramsey Community College counters food insecurity with Campus Cupboard

September 17, 2018

The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Campus Cupboard will open its doors Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Coon Rapids Campus to provide students access to non-perishable food and personal hygiene items. Sponsored by the Coon Rapids Campus Foundation, the Campus Cupboard will be open twice monthly. Students will be limited to 12 items of their choosing at no cost. All items will be provided through donations from the community.

Campus Cupboard Opening
Tuesday, Sept. 25
9 to 11:30 am
Rm G213

To begin, the Campus Cupboard will occupy a temporary home in Rm G213 near the Health & Wellness Center through fall semester toward the end of each month to accommodate student need when financial struggle may be the hardest. Tuesday hours are 9 to 11:30 am, and Wednesdays from 1 to 3 pm, and again from 4 to 6:30 pm. Remaining dates for fall semester include Sept. 26, Oct. 23 and 24, Nov. 20 and 21, and Dec 11 and 12.

“VISTA has been key to helping our college learn more about the obstacles our students are currently facing,” says Lindsey Schiller, Development Director of the Coon Rapids Campus Foundation. “The foundation board became involved starting with a $3,000 donation of seed money to get the pantry started, and we will continue to support the Campus Cupboard through community and donor outreach, and helping to continue the supply of necessary items that our students need through funding and donations received.”

On a national level, food insecurity is higher among college students than the general population. At Anoka-Ramsey, approximately one in five students report concern about financial and food security. More than one in eight report experiencing a food shortage, 28.6 percent of whom say it has negatively impacted their academics. Representation is higher among students of color, first generation students and low income students.

“Students have a lot going on, from classes and homework to family responsibilities,” said Hinnah Ayub, VISTA program liaison and Campus Cupboard coordinator. “Education is a pathway out of poverty, and community colleges are especially important in that journey specifically because we can provide those resources to ease the burden.”

Student volunteers will staff the Campus Cupboard. Opportunities to be involved range from outreach and greeters, to acquiring donations and sorting. To volunteer, students must attend an hour-long orientation on food insecurity, the mission of Campus Cupboard, brief history on food pantries, and the role that volunteers serve.

Service learning opportunities will help to support the Campus Cupboard from within the classroom, and within the community. Hunger advocacy events, food and personal needs drives, and classroom presentations are currently being proposed.. The Campus Cupboard is a collaboration of the entire college community as staff, faculty and students and the foundation work to remove academic and personal barriers to ensure student success on the pathway to degree completion.

For more information on the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids Campus Foundation, visit AnokaRamsey.edu/About-Us/Foundations-Alumni/.